Gem State Roundup

Idaho potato packing operation receives $19.6M loan to increase production

By: - June 16, 2023 2:17 pm
Potatoes are harvested and and sorted in Burley, Idaho.

Potatoes are harvested and and sorted in Burley, Idaho. (Kirsten Strough /USDA)

An Idaho potato packing operation has been awarded a $19.6 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of a new effort to create better markets for agricultural producers and food businesses in 19 states across rural America.

Mart Group LLC, based in Rupert, will use the funds to construct a potato processing facility to expand and increase the company’s existing potato production capacity, according to information provided by the USDA. The funding aims to increase the capacity of the nation’s food supply chain, and according to the USDA, it will also create six new jobs at the company while stabilizing 12 others.

Japan won’t accept fresh Idaho potatoes, so U.S. lawmakers are pushing for change

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Idaho funding Thursday as part of the department’s allocation of $320 million in federal funding to strengthen food supply chains and create business opportunities for ag producers.

Funding will also go to businesses in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are standing up for America’s farmers and ranchers by expanding processing capacity, creating fairer markets, more revenue streams and market opportunities which help bring down food costs for families at the grocery store,” Vilsack said in a press release. “We are partnering with entrepreneurs in rural areas to build brighter futures, connect business owners to new markets and create good jobs for generations to come. These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out and make our communities more resilient.”

The investments are awarded through four federal programs: the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan program, the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program, the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and the Rural and Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Christina Lords
Christina Lords

Christina Lords is the editor-in-chief of the Idaho Capital Sun and has been a professional journalist covering local and state government since graduating from the University of Idaho in 2009. A Pocatello native, Lords is a fifth-generation Idahoan who served as a reporter at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and the Post Register in Idaho Falls and served as assistant editor for the Idaho Press in Nampa. She also led the Idaho Statesman in Boise for two years before turning to nonprofit journalism.